BGC Supports Stricter Stance Against Black Market Actors

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has recommended that legislation be put in place to crack down on technology networks that benefit from unregulated gaming operators by releasing a response to the Government’s Online Harms White Paper.

The BGC supported the Government’s efforts to tackle online gambling risks and risk mitigation to underage gamblers.

Nonetheless, after analysis by the BGC, it has been discovered that four out of 10 search results for key terms of gambling on major search engines have yielded results linked to unlicensed black-market operators.

More BGC guidance reveals that black-market actors received ‘ 27 million visits ‘ from UK-registered IPs, as an estimated 200,000 UK players have interacted in the past 12 months with unlicensed gaming domains.

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher stated: “Search platforms are promoting black-market gambling operators for profit, putting the British consumers, including children, at risk. None of the UK’s strict licensed safeguards are in place on these illegal sites.

“Regulated bookies and online operators have a strict zero tolerance approach to underage gambling, yet unlicensed operators are free to prey on vulnerable consumers.

“We welcome the Government’s Online Harms Bill. But it also provides the Government with a chance to clamp down on the black-market and help protect punters who want a flutter in a safe environment.”

Back in 2018, the Safer Gambling Regulatory Advisory Board (formerly RGSB) warned that more needs to be done to introduce more verification steps about name, age and addresses.

The board emphasised the need for Internet service providers, app stores, search engine companies to be more concerned about the risk of third-party use of their goods to provide children and young people with illegal gambling and to be diligent in preventing it.